Doctor urges Irish Government to close off UK border to stop spread of Indian variant 2 months ago

Doctor urges Irish Government to close off UK border to stop spread of Indian variant

She is also encouraging Ireland to halt "indoor mixing" as much as possible over the coming weeks.

Doctor Zubaida Haque of Independent SAGE has urged the Irish Government to close off its borders with the UK in order to stop the spread of the Indian coronavirus variant.

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Independent SAGE UK is a group of scientists who work to provide independent scientific advice to the UK government and public on how to support Britain’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and minimise deaths.

Speaking on Ireland AM on Thursday, Dr Haque said that the UK Government should have waited to reopen indoor activities for another "two weeks at least", adding that it would have been "much better" for the region.

Dr Haque added that Ireland should avoid "indoor mixing" as much as possible over the next two weeks.

"Do what New Zealand did right at the beginning of this pandemic which is, just wait," she said.

"We've got so many cases, obviously you've got the so-called Indian variant in Ireland now - so just wait, stop indoor mixing as much as you can.

"If we wait and see what the data says, but more importantly, try to stop the transmission of this really transmissible variant, then it would be much better. So just waiting another week or two would be much better for the country as a whole."

Dr Haque also encouraged Ireland to close off borders with the UK "just for a brief period" to help minimise the cases of the B.1.617.2 virus across the country.

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"Actually, I think at the moment what you do need to do is close the borders between the UK and Ireland," she said.

"It's public health and economy, and that is what needs to happen, that test and trace, that closing of the borders for now, just for a brief period and to support businesses."